Some groups benefit with fees groups’ final proposals

The committees also used an accounting shift to benefit two groups that lost funding.

by Emily Ayshford

The Student Services Fees committees determined final recommendations for student groups Friday. Although many of the recommendations did not change, a few groups’ funding changed dramatically.

The committee originally recommended that The Wake, a monthly student newspaper, not receive funding. But after debate at the meeting, the committee recommended that the publication receive $59,850, the full amount requested.

“I’m happy about it,” said Chris Ruen, co-founder and co-editor of The Wake. He said the funding will allow them to pay their staff, making it easier for students to work for the paper.

Ruen said if they hadn’t gotten the money, staff members would have probably stopped publishing the paper next year.

The Disabled Student Cultural Center received approximately $13,000 more than the initial recommendation but $3,000 less than their request.

Jeremy Heyer, associate coordinator for the center, said the recommendation was better than the first one. The additional funding requested was for hiring a graduate student for their office. Heyer said the board still had to discuss whether to hire someone, but they hope to use the funding to increase programming.

“We’re going to be pushing ourselves harder to become more involved and have more programming,” Heyer said.

The committee recommended The Minnesota Daily receive the same amount of funding as the paper got last year, approximately $50,000 less than requested. Joe McKenzie, the Daily’s business manager, said the newspaper probably will not be able to adjust its payroll for inflation, and still might have to cut one or two positions.

The Administrative Fees Committee decided this year to use “balance adjustments” intended to allow funding recipients to record an “official” fee allocation that is higher than the actual amount of funding they receive.

As a result, funding recipients will be able to report an allocation that is higher than the actual funding they received during next year’s fees process.

Because the fees committee uses the previous year’s funding level as a benchmark for cuts, funding recipients hope this process will prevent next year’s fees committee from cutting their budgets from the reduced allocation level.

Boynton Health Service and University Student Legal Services – the only groups cut by the Administrative Fees Committee – took advantage of this new process.

The committee initially recommended Boynton receive approximately $600,000 less than requested and allotted the University Student Legal Services $120,000 less than requested.

However, the official final recommendation is for the full amounts Boynton and University Student Legal Services requested – but with a balance adjustment of $600,000 and $120,000 attached, respectively.

That means Boynton and University Student Legal Services will get the amounts they requested but will have to return the extra money they were not actually awarded to the registrar.

Martin Wingard, Administrative Fees Committee chairman, said Boynton was concerned next year’s fees committee would see the committee only allocated $5.8 million -$600,000 less than they had requested – and would use that as a starting point for recommendations.

Wingard said Lincoln Kallsen, Administrative Fees Committee member, looked into this process and found the additional work would be minimal.

The only other group to receive less funding than the first recommendation was Students for Family Values, which received $22,000 less than they requested from Student Services Fees Committee. Martin Andrade, the group’s president, said the cut will affect their programming.

He said they won’t be able to hold any big events, which will affect their ability to attract new members. He said the group will ask for more money from the fees committee next year.

The current fees breakdown per student is $278.42.

Robert Jones, University vice president for campus life, will hold a fees hearing at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the President’s Room of Coffman Union. Both Jones and the University Board of Regents must approve the committee recommendations before they become final.

Emily Ayshford welcomes comments at [email protected]